Monday, April 7, 2008

Feeding the Trolls OR All Those Wasted Bytes

Well, folks, I've been had.

I hate it when I do something stupid.
Like feeding internet trolls, for example.
You know, like the "objectivists" who have been commenting on previous posts.

I enjoy the few actual readers I may have left. Those who are still coming back even though this wearisome BS is becoming overwhelming.
I enjoy people who give thoughtful intelligent comments that enlighten me, and give everyone a chance to think about an issue or subject.

And I appreciate the kindness of those who have supported me by gently pointing out that I have been 'infiltrated.' I also appreciate those who took the time to think about the ideas presented.

Trolls, on the other hand, are a pain in the tuchus.
They deny that they stated what they stated.
They manufacture "objective facts."
They use emotional tactics like "you should be ashamed of yourself" in order to distract from the obvious. They have no argument.
They use every logical fallacy on the list to evade real discussion.
And when the blogger tries to end the discussion, weary of the BS, they indignantly cry that the blogger is "censoring" them. This is a demonstration of how superficial is their understanding of commonly used terms.

I don't know who they think they are impressing by these tactics. I suppose they do it to impress each other. They have no ideas and no principles. Sophists to the end, the goal is clearly the game.

I have learned my lesson. The only bright spot is that N. and I are using the BS to study logical fallacies and to learn how to avoid them in real discussions of ideas.

At the moment, I have no more time to waste on BS.
Too bad it's virtual as I have some roses that could use the real stuff. Well aged.

Gentle readers (and by this I mean people who can actually read for comprehension--trolls can't) I beg your pardon, but I will be turning on the comment moderation feature. Those of you, like the commenter Josh, who may disagree with me but are honest in your disagreement will have comments considered and posted.

When I have gotten rid of the trolls, we can go back to normal.

I fed the d--m trolls. So now I have to moderate for a while.


Amie said...

Every good blogger has to contend with the trolls at least once ;)

Sarah said...

I'm sorry. I enjoyed all that you wrote. (I do have a question about the role of consensus in science, but I'll save that for another time.)

It wasn't wasted, in the sense that some people who don't know a lot about the various topics you were discussing got to read an intelligent person's response to . . . well, yes, idiocy.

But the "intelligent person's response" part was still good.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Thanks, Amie!

And you, too, Sarah.
I am glad that what I said did have some meaning for my gentle readers. And I will continue...just with moderation for a while. I've got to go set that up!:)

denise said...

I moderate a few boards and always get that stuff too. Drives me nuts...

I always enjoy reading!

Frankie said...

I'm afraid I'm so very behind with blogs that I haven't read what happened. At any rate, trolls are out there. It's easy to hide and be rude when you're not face-to-face with someone. I am very sorry you have had to endure this.

Angela said...

I was there last week myself. Here to say it is not unconstitutional to decide to not engage idiots. It just shows your intellegence!
Have a lovely, troll free day!

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Thanks, everyone, for the vote of confidence. Sometimes the blogosphere is incredibly lonely, especially when blogging difficult issues. I can see why many homeschool bloggers avoid discussing the scientific theory of evolution, and politics.
And yet, with all that is going on in this country, and in the world, I still think we need to clear about some of this stuff.

So, I am, as Angela said elsewhere, "over it now." I will continue talking about what I think, and I hope you all will continue to read and comment.

I will keep the comment moderation up for a while though, as I just don't have time for the idiots out there.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am one of your regular readers; you have written so many interesting posts in the past few days, and I have wanted to comment but didn't have time. (Trolls, on the other hand, apparently have a lot of time on their hands!) I was surprised to see this today, because when I read your previous post, there was only one comment -- I guess I got there before the trolls!

I enjoyed that post, and it got me thinking...The discussion over at Principled Discovery turned to Godwin's Law; but after reading that discussion and reading your post, my thoughts kept turning to how, yes, we shouldn't fling around accusations of Nazi or totalitarianism anymore than we should cry child abuse at every turn
When we look at Germany, the obvious question arises, how did *they* (who are not so distant culturally from *us*)reach the point where they would accept the murderous policies of the Nazis? The German people didn't just wake up one morning suddenly transformed into Orwellian sheep. Although it may have seemed that way to those living it at the time, we who have the benefit of hindsight know -- or ought to -- that myriad small philosophical and political changes over the years are necessary to prepare a cultural soil in which such a regime can take root. So, in spite of Godwin's Law, we would be remiss not to seriously consider the ramifications of the ideals and policies we adopt and ask ourselves: where is this leading us -- toward freedom and just rule of law, or in the other direction?

Anyway, thanks for your excellent blog, (which I read every day even if I rarely comment!)

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...


Thanks for reading and this very thoughtful comment. I thought about Godwin's Law before writing All Those Wasted Years but I decided that it really applies to discussion lists in which some current event or person is equated with Nazi Germany.

Surely, if we do not learn the lessons of history, we will suffer similar fates, and the lessons of all the events that happened to create a populace that acted like Orwellian sheep is certainly germane (no pun intended) to a discussion of government interference in the upbringing of children.

The troll(s) certainly would not agree, and suggest that my run-down on the number of lives lost to totalitarian regimes is emotional pleading rather than historical evidence. However, according to Sowell, one of the traits of the Anointed is to reject empirical evidence (in this case, historical experience) as irrelevant. After all, they have the Vision and they are on a morally superior plane, so the evidence does not apply to them.

The more I read of what the troll wrote in comments, the more I was convinced that Sowell's model applies to him. He does not see the need to respond with well-constructed arguments, but only sneering demands and moral judgments ("you should be ashamed..!")because he has the Truth, the only Truth,and Nothing but the Truth, and the Benighted would be best served by letting him engineer society regardless of the consequences. Reality pales for him in the face of his Vision.